LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech basketball coach Billy Gillispie resigned Thursday, citing health concerns, ending a one-year run at the program he took over with designs on building a powerhouse.
"Billy has decided to focus on his health, and we wish him a full recovery," athletic director Kirby Hocutt said in a release.
He will be paid the remainder of this contract year, about $467,000. Chris Walker, who took over day-to-day operations, will remain in that position until an interim head coach is chosen.
Gillispie's resignation letter said he appreciated the opportunity, but he needed to tend to his health, officials said.
Less than a month ago the school announced it was looking into allegations of player mistreatment by the coach — a sensitive topic at Texas Tech, given the 2009 firing of football coach Mike Leach after claims he mistreated a player suffering from a concussion.
In January, the school reprimanded Gillispie, 52, and assistant Brooks Jennings after a review found the team had exceeded practice-time limits in 2011.
Twice in a 10-day span, 911 calls were made from Gillispie's home. The first, Aug. 31, led to a six-day hospital stay. Gillispie wasn't taken to the hospital after the second call Sept. 10. But he later went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he said he got treatment for kidney problems and abnormal headaches.
Five years ago, Gillispie was a hot name, hired at Kentucky. He was fired after two seasons and later sought treatment after a third drunken driving charge.
Governor pardons former FSU standout
TALLAHASSEE — Former Florida State and Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player Harry Davis received a conditional pardon from Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet for a 1987 cocaine conviction.
Davis, 56, told officials he needed the pardon to pass background checks so he can do volunteer work coaching and counseling children and obtain a massage therapist license.
"I've got a feeling of relief right now," he said after the clemency board's decision. He said he'll now be able to tell his mother, a retired nurse who turns 85 next month, that Florida has forgiven him.
The governor and at least two of the three Cabinet members on the Florida Board of Executive Clemency must approve any grant of clemency.
The 6-foot-7 forward starred at FSU from 1974 through 1978. Davis said he was vacationing in West Palm Beach when he was arrested aboard a bus on a charge of attempting to traffic in cocaine. He served a one-year sentence.
North Carolina: Basketball coach Roy Williams was released from the hospital one day after surgery to remove a tumor from his right kidney.
Football: Hogs coach owes $25.7 million
Arkansas coach John L. Smith is trying to wipe away $25.7 million in debt in bankruptcy court and hang onto $1.2 million in retirement accounts and some personal property. Smith has a meeting with a long list of creditors at U.S. bankruptcy court in Fayetteville on Oct. 12, the day before his team hosts Kentucky. He said real estate investments were profitable until land values plummeted. Smith filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Sept. 6. In other news, starting QB Tyler Wilson (concussion) was cleared to play Saturday against Rutgers.
Georgia tech: Starting receiver Jeremy Moore is leaving for personal reasons.
Nebraska: Defensive tackle Chase Rome returned to the team. He left last week after starting the first two games.
Men of few words
USC coach Lane Kiffin had a "normal" seven-minute news conference Thursday, but his 29-second, 47-word news conference Wednesday following a question he didn't like about an injury got the Wall Street Journal wondering about sports' briefest briefings. Some of most notorious, based on time and words spoken:
|John Tortorella, Rangers||2011 postgame||14||56||"We (stank) from head to toe."|
|Lane Kiffin, USC||2012 postpractice||29||47||Deep, prolonged sigh|
|Les Miles, LSU||2007 stay at LSU||45||120||"I'm busy."|
|Stan Van Gundy, Magic||2010 pregame||53||44||"Seriously, that's it?"|
|Lane Kiffin, Tennessee||2010 departure||59||179||Ignoring questions while exiting|
Source: Wall Street Journal